Religion is defined as an institutional system of belief of superhuman power or powers; that are believed to have control over humanity: there are a number of religions existing in the world with Christianity and Muslims as the most dominant. This paper discusses the Islam religion.
According to religion survey conducted in 2009, the religion has a total number of 1,571,198,000, people; this represented 22.9% of the world population.
In the last couple of years, Muslims have been associated with a number of negative perceptions; because of what some other Muslims have done, terror attacks in different parts of the world has been blamed on Islam religion in what is referred to as holy war; these terror attacks have made people hold different opinions towards the religion. For example in the story, The Alchemist , section one the writer says, “When Santiago first travels to Africa, and the reader sees his vaguely skeptical attitude toward the Muslims he meets.
While in the bar, he hears the call to prayer and watches the Muslims prostrate themselves on the ground” (Coelho 1), when they are praying they are facing Mecca where they believe their God stays. It is the fastest growing religion with and the second largest religion in the world. Muslims tried a lot to change the bad image of Islam, but with no benefit. Islam has many concepts and people have different thoughts about it.
Islam is Arabic word, which means “peace.” Muslims believe that Islam came from God and the prophet Mohammad is the last prophet; in the religion, there is a lot of emphasis on the meaning the religion, this portrays the religion as a religion that has its strong holds in peace development. Just like the religion of Christianity put more emphasis on love.
Prophet Muhammad, who is the main character in the religion in his works, put more emphasis on mercy. He was the last and greatest of God’s messengers, who were mandated to continue the works of Abraham, Jesus and Mosses. He preached to people to have mercy on each other. He did emphasize on the need of mercy to the less fortunate in the society. This goes in line with the strong holds of the religion, peace.
The religion call their God Allah, this means God, the true God. The character of the lord is that of peace and mercy. In the article by Abd-Allah Umar Faruq called, One God, Many Names page two, the writer notes that “For Muslims, All?h is the most inclusive of God’s names, embracing all his other names and attributes.
In accordance with conventional Arabic usage, All?h can be applied only to the Creator and cannot be assigned to any other being, angelic, human, animate or inanimate, real or imaginary” (Abd-Allah, 2), this implies that Allah is a holy name that need to be respected. The article recognizes Allah as the primary name of God. It tends to illustrate that the name of the lord illustrates who he is and defines the religion, he is seen as the peaceful one and one who is merciful. The name of God in either the Muslim or other religion is respected.
In the article, by Abd-Allah Umar Faruq called, One God, Many Names, finds that the ideology that either Christianity or Muslim derived the name was the same or similar. This is in that the Biblical Elohim (God) and h?-Eloh (the true God) of Moses and the Hebrew prophets or the Aramaic Al?h? (God, the true God) of Jesus and John the Baptist the recognition of the supremacy of the lord is recognized. From the spirit of the article then it can be derived that the God that either the Muslim or the Christianity worship is the same.
The article emphasis on living ethically like the life is of the early prophets of God. The word name is seen as the most beautiful name in the two articles. The prophet Mohammad was told the Quran by Gabriel. Quran is Islam holy book. Muslims follow what is written in the Quran and they believe in it. Four kinds of Muslims that are Sony, Shah, Sofuh and Whabies, All kind of Muslims are almost the same with no big different.
People have different thoughts about Islam. There are two kinds of thoughts about Islam. Firstly, the kind of people who have a background about Islam, and know the concepts of Islam; they understand that all Muslims are not the same. In addition, they know terrorists are not real Muslims and they do not follow the concepts of Islam.
Secondly, the kind of people who have negative ideas about Islam; those people think that Islam is the religion of terrorists. The problem is they do not know anything about Islam; they just believe what media will say. Because of the media, many people got negative thoughts about. I believe Islam is a religion of peace, justice and tolerance. Islam is the only religion that believes in other religions.
As God said in the holy Quran, Muslims should believe in other religions that came from God such as Judaism and Christianity. In addition, Muslims should believe in all other prophets who are sent by God like Abraham, Jesus, and Moses. Because of the order of God, Muslims cannot fight or kill other people even if they are not Muslims. God sent the prophet Mohammad with Islam to complete the monotheistic religions (Abd-Allah, Umar Faruq 1-10).
In the books, The Alchemist, the superiority of men over women as it is perceived in the Islam religion is shown when Santiago dreams, pursues Fatima, the religion has the belief that marriage should be respected and it is holly. The man is seen as the one who should initiate the relationship and the women follows.
A woman is not supposed to show directly that she is in love with a man. In section five, the writer says, “Fatima, Santiago’s love interest, tells him that she would rather him achieve his Personal Legend than stay by her side. Her reasoning is that she loves Santiago and therefore must love his dreams as well” (Coelho, 5). This shows how love is valued in the religion.
Islamic banking system
Lately the world is experiencing a rapid growth of Islamic banking alongside with the conventional banking. This tread has made some countries to amend their banking to accommodate the increasing tread. Islamic banking operates slightly different from the conventional banking and an in-depth understanding of its operations is required. Islamic banking is a mode of banking like any other conventional banking systems however it activities are governed by Islamic laws.
The Islamic laws are called Shariah and the banking operates according to Islamic laws of transactions called Fiqh al-muamalat. Firstly, what the sharia provides is banking services without the payment or acceptance of interests from its customers or to the bank. The interest is referred to as Riba. Interest in conventional banking can be seen from two angles, one, the interest paid on savings by the bank to the customer and the interest paid by a customer when he has been financed by the bank.
The theory of the interest is that the customer has allowed the bank to use his money and thus need to be compensated, the rate is agreed on when the contract is made or the bank has a set rate that always is applicable. The banks provide the two services but does not charge or pay interest. The question is how does the bank make profits? How does it attract savings? In addition, how does the customer benefit? We will examine that later. Secondly, it prohibits any financing or even involving in any illegitimate business activities.
The holy book called Quran prohibits this. some businesses that are directly prohibited by the sheria laws not to be engaged in by one who practices the Muslim faith, a good example on this is selling of pork and its products the banking system cannot deal with a person who engages into the business. Another form is what is called games of chances, this include gambling and betting.
It does not finance. Lastly, the sheria prohibits financing of high risk businesses with high uncertainty. Another question that comes into our minds is whether the customers are only Muslims faith practitioner, that was the idea however since the business want to attract more resources in terms of saving and the benefits of lending. It opens its doors to other faith holders to have accounts with them on the condition that they will be fully compliant with the sheria laws governing banking.
For advises mostly on the following of the law there are numerous firms offering the service under Shariah advisory councils. This paper gives an in-depth analysis of Islamic banking starting with a brief history of it emergence, it will also expand on some of the products that are available in the system and in line with that it will be comparing it with the conventional banking system.
In conclusion, people have different believes and thoughts; some believe in God and some do not. The most important thing is ethics and the personalities of people. Many people are looking for peace like Muslims, but they do not know how. The world should try to accept Islam like any other religion.
On page seven, Abd-Allah notes that “Arabic prayer formulas and recitation of the Qur’an. For us, All?h has a direct emotional and spiritual efficacy which no other word for God can replace”, this implies that the religion is a religion of peace (Munir 34-45).
Different people hold varying perceptions and attitudes towards Islam religion: some believe that the religion is responsible for terrorism attacks experienced in the world while others believe it is a religion of peace. Prophet Mohammad is believed to be the founder of the religion: Muslims belief that Islam is a religion of mercy and love.
Abd-Allah, Umar Faruq. One God, Many Names. 2011. Web. 12th March 2011.
Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist (Coelho) Summary and Analysis. 2011. Web. 14th March 2011.
Munir, Ahmed. Islamic Banking: A Success Story.” Economic Review 35.4 (2004) : 34-45. Web. 13 Mar. 2011.